All about T. rex

Tyrannosaurus rex is probably the most recognized dinosaur. Although 65 million years have passed since extinction issued its death sentence, this beast continues to captivate dinosaur enthusiasts from preschoolers to paleontologists.

Following its discovery in the American West more than a century ago, Tyrannosaurus rex assumed the crown of predatory king of the dinosaurs. An adult Tyrannosaurus was longer than a Port Authority bus, as heavy as a Duquesne Incline car, and taller than three Mario Lemieuxs!

Ranging from the nightmarish to the laughable, the dinosaur's physical features cast Tyrannosaurus rex as the consummate carnivore. Its more-than-five-foot-long skull sprouted a mouthful of deadly seven-inch-long teeth. The edges of these teeth were serrated for cutting meat; the only modern creatures with similar dental cutlery are sharks and Komodo dragons. The absurd, seemingly puny forelimbs couldn't even reach the dinosaur's mouth, but could lift several hundred pounds. The dinosaur's most lethal weapons were its powerful jaws, which could deliver a bone-crushing bite.

Relatives of Tyrannosaurus rex were most likely the lightly built dinosaurs that gave rise to the pigeons in Market Square, the birds at the National Aviary, and others of their ilk.

Carnegie Museum of Natural History scientists reconstructed the holotype skull of T. rex, rebuilding this most famous of specimens to reflect modern scientific knowledge.  Check out the preparators' archives on the PaleoLab Web site!

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